(July 30, 2020 / Israel Hayom) Israeli Public Security Minister Amir Ohana warned on Wednesday that unless Israelis find a way to rise above their differences, “we will end up with blood.”
Speaking with Israel Hayom, he warned that the latest protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were a source of concern.
“We are not going to see a civil war, but we are going to see violence rising steadily,” he said. “Yes, we see there is an atmosphere of hatred in the air during these demonstrations, not of division. Divisions have always existed and will continue to exist, but this time it feels like there is actual hatred between the two sides. I hope I am wrong, but my feeling is that it will turn bloody.”
In recent days demonstrations against the prime minister have heated up, with hundreds converging on his official residence and his private home.
A 31-year-old Ramla resident was arrested near the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday night on suspicion of threatening the life of Netanyahu and his wife, Sara. The suspect had two knives and a plastic gun in his possession. The Jerusalem Magistrate Court extended his remand in custody until Aug. 2.
Also on Tuesday evening, demonstrators were attacked near Ohana’s Tel Aviv home, allegedly by right-wing assailants. Following this incident, Netanyahu called on law-enforcement officials to act against all forms of violence.
Ohana slammed the protesters picketing Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, saying they were anything but peaceful in some cases.
“It is a mixed crowd, with many statements. There are those who shout ‘End the occupation,’ ‘Peace Now!’ and so forth, but then there are those who do more aggressive things. There was a video of one protester who said Netanyahu’s home should be underground [i.e., a grave]. There are people chanting ‘traitor’ during the protests, and these are the moderates in these protests because other demonstrators actually call for his assassination.”
Ohana said the media was partly to blame because it has been fueling the protests with live coverage. “These protesters—they are not even equivalent to the constituency needed for a Knesset seat, so why is everyone calling this a nationwide protest?” asked Ohana.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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